Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Hartwell Chronicles ... Just the two of us

I have a mini me for the summer.
OK not quite a mini me, because she is definitely her own person.
My little cousin is staying with me in the lovely city of Hartwell.
The idea came about when me and her mom, my older cousin, talked about the need to remediate my brother’s behavior. His parents didn’t deem it necessary to send him to me.
But my cousin thought it would be a wonderful idea to send her daughter here.
She would get to experience a new cultural environment and actually go somewhere cool for the summer.
Err, cool might not be the word, but hey hanging with her older cousin should be fun right?
I’m young, hip and in the know.
Actually, there are those who say I am lame. Namely my brother and one of my friends.
I will admit, I am not the picture of perfection when it comes to being trendy and whatnot.
This isn’t Sex and the City here. It’s small town single (a forthcoming novel by yours truly. The title has been copy written by me.)
But what I lack in trendsetting, I make up for in my quirky yet entertaining personality.
Hopefully my cousin sees that.
She started crying right before we left from the family reunion saying she didn’t want to go. Then the yelling started from everyone.
“My daughter doesn’t need to deal with her drama,” my daddy shouted.
“Get your stuff out the car if you’re going to act a fool,” my grandma chimed in.
“You need to experience new things, so get in the car” her mom said.
It was driving me crazy. I know she was headed there too.
So she said she would go.
My family did a lot of teasing to my cousin right before she left, and I think that’s what got to her. They said I would be running a boot camp.
I am not.
Yes, I do make her read, write and practice diction. But that’s because she needs improvement in those areas, especially if she aspires to be a lawyer.
When she’s a supreme court justice, she’ll thank me.
And we’ve been counting calories and exercising. Her mom said she needs to lose weight.
She’s slightly shorter than me, but weighs almost the same amount. We both need to drop some major pounds.
You do not want to start high school overweight, believe me.
I guess what everyone failed to realize is she is only 14. She’s never been away from home in another state.
That can be challenging when you’re young.
No friends, no family except a lame-o cousin and a summer filled with unfun activities (wait they’re not that bad). I think I would have started crying too.
By the time we got down the highway and made it to Hartwell she seemed fine. We sung along to the radio, laughed at my bad driving and talked about how I live in a retirement community.
I have to remember to be her cousin and not her parent.
I’m sure I’ll have my share of day’s wondering, “What did I get myself into?”
She mumbles, doesn’t want to listen to me and keeps telling me to turn the lights off (in my own house nonetheless. Her point is we’re in a recession.)
But I’m sure she’s thinking the same thing.
She probably resents me for my lack of culinary skills, my school like structure and my many idiosyncrasies.
Oh well, nobody’s perfect. The two of us are stuck together this summer.

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